THE Negros Farmers Weekend Market (NFWM), a place provided for the local organic farmers to showcase and sell their produce, marked its sixth anniversary on March 16.
The market on Magsaysay Avenue near the Bacolod City Police Office is a place where organic food lovers come to dine and enjoy pleasantries with families and friends.
School children enrolled at Bright Kids Pre-School also enjoyed the experience of harvesting their own planted vegetables and calamansi.
They were taught the proper way of farming so that when they grow older, they will empathize with the farmers, who have to endure the heat of the sun on a daily basis to put food on the table.
Ruby Tanya C. Cruz, the lead volunteer and chief executive officer of DC Cruz, was grateful that NFWM has reached six years.
“This is actually a dream come true for us,” said Cruz. “It started as a social responsibility project of DC Cruz Corp., a company that was established in 1966 with a time-tested motto: Service to the farmers.
“This is one way for us to be of service to our farmers by providing them a place to sell their locally grown organic products and for the community to come together and enjoy the palatable organic viands and food prepared by the local sellers,” she added.
“We had high hopes when we started this project. But for the community to fully support it for the past six years is really a dream come true for us,” she said.
Cruz was grateful of the presence of lawyer John N. Orola Jr., the Bacolod city administrator who represented Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia during NFWM's simple anniversary celebration.
“We have always enjoyed the support of the City Government of Bacolod and its officials,” continued Cruz. “This is a private initiative with the aim of really serving the community. But it is a challenge for us to sustain this endeavor, maybe because of the psyche of the Negrenses, who are quite ashamed to be seen doing work or selling something,” Cruz said.
“We had quite had a hard time looking for serious vendors to sell their goods here. But we have a 95-percent retention since Day 1. We want to attract more serious vendors especially farmers to make use of our spaces here. We have federations and traders supporting our endeavor,” she said.
Organic products, said Cruz, is theoretically expensive because if one goes organic, he will not have the same yield as conventional farming. Organic farming generally has lower yield. But through the DC Cruz Corp. initiative, farmers are aided in using crop-protection products.
Meanwhile, Orola assured NFWM volunteers that the City will continue to support their existence by holding some of their activities in the city-owned area. The place is free for those who want to use it as long as it's community-driven.